Former England captain Nasser Hussain is hopeful of a successful return of “box office” cricketer Rishabh Pant in 2024 following his recovery from the near-fatal car crash a year back. It was on a fateful December night in 2022 when Pant suffered a horrific car accident. The wicketkeeper batter has made strong progress since then and is likely to return to cricket ahead of the T20 World Cup in USA and the West Indies. “That was such a serious accident. The whole world held its breath and it has been a slow recovery,” Hussain was quoted as saying by the ICC. “You follow on social media, on my phone and the initial first walking steps to then scenes in the gym and then scenes of him playing a bit of cricket, scenes of him with Ricky (Ponting).”

“I travelled with Ricky in the summer in the Ashes, and Ricky was texting him ‘how’s the progress coming along’, and he is a box office cricketer.” Following Pant’s absence, KL Rahul has filled in to his shoes and produced a good show at the recent ODI World Cup, amassing 452 runs at an average of 75.33.

“India have done well without him (Pant) as KL has come in and been brilliant in all formats,” Hussain noted.

“They’ll continue to be brilliant. They’re lucky to have both of them, but Rishabh Pant, before his injury, was box office, and hopefully after his injury, will be box office as well.” Hussain also earmarked young opener Shubman Gill to return to form in Test cricket.

“He (Gill) had a very good three quarters, or nine tenths of 2023. You must have learned so much having the likes of Rohit Sharma at the other end,” Hussain said.

“He just fell away maybe at the end. Maybe that illness, you know, just got to him a little bit, and he’s formed just in a month. We take it far too short when we’re in the broadcasting world.

“He’s a super talent, and he’s going to be the next sensation for India for years to come. So, hopefully, he’ll have a good 2024.”

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